We continue with the second part of our article series “Turkish Armed Forces and General Purpose Helicopters”. For the first part here You can click.
General Purpose Helicopter Production Project Begins
In the study conducted by the Ministry of National Defense in the 80s, our needs, including small, medium and large type helicopters, including armed helicopters, were determined as 720 and initially, companies / firms that could produce 3 types of helicopters were investigated. The aim here only company in cooperation with different types of helicopters is supplied by a joint venture company to be established in Turkey. Candidates who can be such a single company in the commission studies established; American Waist, MDHC Mc. Donnell Douglas Helicopter Company was found in Sikorsky, Europe as Aerospatiale MBB, Agusta, Westland.
In the event of an agreement, the 901 Aircraft Main Depot and Factory of the Land Forces was previously thought as the manufacturing place of the Helicopters, although the main task of this organization was the maintenance and repair of this idea, but in the framework of the collaboration in the Turkish-American Defense Industry, An assembly and manufacturing program consisting of 60 helicopters supported by Military Sales (FMS) loan was carried out.
At that time, SAGEB (Defense Industry Development and Support Directorate) contacted various helicopter manufacturer companies in August 1987 and planned to produce 252 helicopters (SIKORSKY, BELL, MBB, AEROSPATIALE), 700 of which are for general purpose. called for a proposal with a questionnaire.
Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), Aerospatiale Helicopter Division, Agusta SPA, Bell Helicopter Textron Ine., MBB GmbH, Sikorsky Aircraft and Westland Helicopters LTD. At least 16.08.1989 medium-sized to the company (200 people) are manufactured in Turkey of general purpose helicopters, offset and 12rd countries to include the right sale sent offer prompt and responsive for promotional calendar in 3, the company is determined. The table also shows the type and number of helicopters that could be received until 1990 in the first invitation letter sent by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries to helicopter manufacturers in 1988.
10 of the general purpose helicopters specified in the table would be made as ready-made purchases. S-1988A Black Hawk (UH-6) was chosen for 70 of these needs, which came to the decision stage in 60, and these helicopters were handed over to the Gendarmerie General Command at the beginning of 1989.
The companies bidding for the production of 200 General Purpose Helicopters demonstrated the capabilities of their helicopters with 15-day programs held in Eastern Anatolia between 15 July and 1990 August 5. Tests generally, high-altitude and high temperature, which is very important in terms of Turkey's geographical structure (Hot & High) when assessing the flight performance, but also flight capabilities with single and dual engine (forward, sideways and backward, rise, fixed altitude, single landing with engine, etc.), maneuverability, mission-specific flight capability, night flight capability, troop transport capability (landing / getting on, firing, long-range flight, etc.), ambulance use (medevac) capability, search and rescue (SAR) capability and field maintenance / repair facility (paller, single-engine and gearbox removal and installation) to evaluate important performance characteristics for usage needs.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries chose Sikorsky Aircraft production Black Hawk helicopter for general purpose helicopter purchase / production in its decision in September 1992. Considering the transportation of 3 regiment with 1 battalions from the air according to the determined needs, contract negotiations started to be carried out for 25 helicopters with 50 ready purchases and 75 co-production. In this case, it would be enough to carry 75 infantry squads or about 1 battalion (Black Hawks were shaped to carry 1 infantry squad of the US Land Forces - US Army Journal December 91 issue). Also in Black Hawk, increasing the number of seats in Turkey participated in the tender to carry 20 people making them. As a result of the negotiations, an agreement of 08.12.1992 billion USD was signed on 45, of which 70 S28A-32 helicopters are ready for purchase (50 of them are Gendarmerie) and 1.1 of them are joint production. The agreement also includes an option that includes the production of an additional 55 helicopters. The helicopter supply, defined as an urgent need, was completed in about 5 years.
Defense Industry Undersecretary Vahit Erdem's statement about the project “The total amount of the first part of the contract with 45 helicopters is $ 435 million. However, it is expected that the contract value will increase to 500 million dollars after the changes in the helicopter configuration and the lists of special mission equipment to be supplied for the helicopter are determined by the General Staff and the necessary adjustments in the spare parts and ground support equipment lists.
The second part of the contract value in Turkey envisages the joint production of 50 helicopters for $ 497 million. The total cost of co-production is expected to reach $ 610 million, following the changes to the helicopter configuration and the determination of special helicopter equipment lists prior to the entry into force of this section.
Delivery of 45 helicopters to be purchased directly to the Turkish Armed Forces will be completed within 9 months after the first part of the contract enters into force. The deliveries of the 50 helicopters will be carried out joint production in Turkey, the second part following the entry into force of the contract will be completed within 5 years.
Meanwhile, to be supplied through a direct purchase of 45 Black Hawk first 5 units of the Gendarmerie General Command made in order to meet their immediate needs "Additional Agreement" within the framework of 1992 brought to Turkey in the last week of December and 31 December 1992, namely the signing of the main contract He was handed over to the Gendarmerie General Command after 21 days. ” It shaped.
Delivery of 45 helicopters was completed in 1994 and 51 Black Hawk helicopters were delivered in total.
In 1993, there was a surprise development regarding the helicopter needs and with the decision of the Defense Industry Executive Committee dated 28.02.1993, it was decided to purchase 20 AS-532 UL Mk1 Cougar transport helicopters for Eurocopter production and the contract was signed in September 1993 and deliveries started in 1995.
When we arrived in 1995, although 55 options were finalized and 105 joint productions were decided, the joint production stage could not be initiated due to financing difficulties.
In addition, with SSIK's decision number 95/4, HVKK's need for 14 search-rescue (SAR) and 6 combat search-rescue (CSAR) helicopters and 10 general purpose helicopter needs of KKK. Negotiations with the Eurocopter have been launched for the 30 Cougar helicopter. On the basis of HvKK's need for SAR helicopters, there were 532 in the joint production section of the general purpose helicopter contract signed with Sikorsky. However, the choice was made as AS-10 UL Mk1 + Cougar due to the inability to initiate the joint production process and the user's needs (UH-532H helicopters were used). Although the talks in question began to focus on the stronger Cougar Mk ll, equipped with all kinds of innovations, instead of the Cougar Mk1, which is about to go out of production, it is equipped with some Mk ll features for the cockpit, with the fact that already increasing costs will increase further and the negotiations will restart and end in 1. An agreement of approximately 1997 million USD has been reached on AS 532 UL Mk1 Cougar.
Excluding the two-year spare parts and logistics package (initial supplies / initial provisioning), which reaches 20 million USD under the contract of 252 million USD of the first 24 helicopters supplied for KKK, the unit price becomes 11.4 million USD. In the new package of 30 units, unit prices are in the order of 14.5 million dollars. Given that a special effort has been made to ensure that domestic final assembly and parts production do not incur an additional cost, it becomes clear that the price difference arises from the upgrade of the new configuration to the Mk1 + level. Moreover, the final cost of the project will be found around 550 million to Turkey. Because, the material to be provided by the user called GFE with 30 years of initial consumables and logistics package, training and Warehouse Level Maintenance (OSB) capability related to 2 helicopters are not included in this price.
Among the items to be provided within the scope of GFE materials, FLIR, which will be produced by Aselsan with the license of Texas lnstruments, has been started to manufacture under the license of Tadiran with the PLS (personnel location system) and the VHF Have Quick ll air-ground communication system, which it has already started to deliver with the Magnavox license. APX 100 IFF (Friend-Enemy Recognition) system, which has started deliveries with Hazeltine license. In addition, Aselsan will provide the platform's radar warning receivers (RWR). In addition, the GFE equipment to be supplied from abroad includes a 12,7mm door-mounted MT and a pod-mounted 20mm gun and 2.75 ″ (70mm) rockets.
In accordance with the agreement signed in February 1997, TAI manufactured parts, final assembly and flight tests of helicopters. While one SAR helicopter and one CSAR helicopter were manufactured and delivered by Eurocopter in France, the remaining 28 helicopters were delivered from TAI between 1999-2002.
While the joint production phase of the Black Hawk helicopters is expected to begin, the Ministry of National Defense handed over 15.09.1998 single source Call for Proposals (RfP) files to Sikorsky Aircraft officials in late October, prepared in line with the Council of Ministers' decision dated 50. This call, which required the submission of the proposal in November, required the early delivery of 60 helicopters (As will be remembered, Sikorsky delivered the first contract of 50 units within one year). It was also emphasized that Aselsan's AselFLIR and Netaş's IFF solutions should be integrated as standard in the package, of which 45 were to be in special configuration Search-Rescue (SAR) type. As an option, it was also requested to specify the glass-cockpit (numerical cockpit) features.
As a result of the accelerated contract negotiations, an agreement worth USD 03.02.1999 million was signed on 561.4. In accordance with the agreement for helicopters delivered between 1999 and 2000, 20 S70A-28 Black Hawk helicopters from Sikorsky's current production line for the US Army were delivered. The remaining 30 helicopters were delivered as “D” model with a digital cockpit and the first 20 helicopters were upgraded to the “D” model.
When coming to the 2000s, it was desired to continue with 80 common production models in the 325s, which was determined to be 90 in the 200s, and for the urgent need, 532 Black including 17 + 6 + 45 ready-made procurement excluding AS-50 UL Cougar and MI-101 helicopters. While Hawk owned, on the other hand, besides the unit price advantage of negotiating a production of 200 helicopters, the technological and infrastructure gains to be provided were also lost.
Source: A. Emre SİFOĞLU /savunmasanayist